5 Beloved Cartoon Locations You Didn’t Know Exist in the Real World

Grab a beer at Moe’s after dinner at Bob’s Burgers
5 Beloved Cartoon Locations You Didn’t Know Exist in the Real World

Who amongst us wouldn’t want to live in a cartoon universe? There are talking animals, mallets fit comfortably inside your pockets, and then there’s the convenience of having two fewer fingernails that need trimming. But despite what Who Framed Roger Rabbit and (to a lesser extent) Cool World led us to believe, human beings can’t actually enter the world of cartoons.

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That being said, you can visit some locations from famous animated series because they exist right here in the real world — if you know where to look. Like how…

The Real Bob’s Burgers Is a San Francisco Breakfast Joint

After thankfully dropping the whole “family of cannibals” angleBob’s Burgers quickly became one of the best shows on TV. People love the Belcher family so much that one family even transformed their home into Bob’s Burgers for Halloween — before a clueless neighbor complained to the health department, believing it was a makeshift restaurant.

But the real Bob’s Burgers still exists (despite briefly shutting down earlier this year), although it’s more known for breakfast food than pun-filled meat products. The eatery that inspired the look of the show’s titular eatery is the Just for You Cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District. Creator Loren Bouchard specifically liked the restaurant’s window between the kitchen and the counter area, which he compared to “a children’s puppet theater.” Artist Sirron Norris used Bouchard’s reference photos to build the look of Bob’s (although they ultimately decided to scrap the decorative swordfish).

No word on whether the owner of the cafe has any children who love singing about butts.

The Inspiration for the ‘Gravity Falls’ Mystery Shack Was Rescued by Fans

One of the greatest animated shows from recent years is Gravity Falls, the only Disney-produced kids cartoon to prominently feature an extra-dimensional Illuminati demon.

The primary location for the show is The Mystery Shack, a dilapidated tourist trap specializing in bogus, cheaply-made “paranormal” artifacts.

The Mystery Shack was patterned on real-life Pacific Northwest attractions, including The Oregon Vortex and Confusion Hill in Piercy, California.

When Confusion Hill ran into financial troubles, Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch enlisted the help of the show’s fans to help contribute funds to save the “real life Mystery Shack,” which they most impressively did.

There Are Multiple Real-Life ‘Up’ Houses

Unless you shriveled into a tear-drenched sadness ball 10 minutes in and missed the rest of the movie, you’re likely aware that Pixar’s Up is about an elderly widower who refuses to sell his colorful home to property developers and eventually launches his home into the sky using hundreds of helium-filled balloons (which, we assure you, is a terrible idea).

Fans couldn’t help but see similarities between Carl’s home and the Edith Macefield house in Seattle, which was wedged between an LA Fitness location and a Ross Dress for Less. Macefield became a local hero after she “rejected a $1 million offer to sell to developers.” While the house supposedly didn’t directly inspire the movie, the parallels were so clearly obvious that Disney even used the home to help market the film.

This isn’t the only real-life Up house, either; over a thousand miles away, custom builders Bangerter Homes painstakingly recreated Carl and Ellie’s house in Utah, somehow getting the okay from Disney in the process.

Thus creating the perfect family home for families that don’t mind being constantly reminded of one of the most heartbreaking tragedies in movie history every single minute of the day.

‘South Park’s Stark’s Pond Exists, Somehow Hasn’t Been Replaced with a Walmart

A not-insubstantial amount of South Park lore was inspired by elements of real life, from Butters to Casa Bonita to the ManBearPig guy, who used to be in politics or something. And one of South Park, Colorado’s most iconic landmarks is Stark’s Pond, serving as the kids’ go-to meet-up spot for skating and nervously projectile vomiting.

It’s long been rumored that South Park is based on the real town of Fairplay, Colorado, which actually does have a Stark’s Pond. And it’s a tad more scenic than the cut-out animation would have you believe.

Thankfully, the real pond has yet to be ruined by the construction of a “Wall-Mart,” leaving local youths free to puke on their crushes.

So Many ‘Simpsons’ Locations Have Popped Up Throughout the World

People who love The Simpsons but can’t afford Universal Studios’ exorbitant, Itchy and Scratchyland-esque prices will be pleased to know that a number of famous Springfieldian landmarks exist throughout the world, in public places that are totally free to visit. 

For starters, there’s an exact replica of the Simpsons’ house in Nevada, famously leftover from a contest back in the ‘90s — although it was sadly repainted and generally de-cartoonified, as per the contest’s rules.

Then there are the unofficial Krusty Burger restaurants in Spain, which attempted to dodge any legal issues by altering the name to “Krasty Burger”... while still using a picture of Krusty the Clown’s face.

And there have been multiple bootleg Moe’s Tavern locations throughout Latin America:

Sadly, some of them seem to have closed down at this point, either because of copyright violations or because they were caught hoarding pandas and killer whales.

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